Reprinted from The New York Times by Taylor Lorenz on February 12, 2021.
Social media creators have a new way to join Hollywood’s biggest union.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has approved an “influencer agreement” that expands coverage and membership options to online content creators. (The term influencer is interchangeable with creator or content creator.) The terms will apply to individuals who are paid to advertise products on social media platforms, aka influencers.
These days, many companies can be seen marketing their products through influencers who have a significant number of Instagram followers, or a good amount on other social media platforms like TikTok or Twitter. These companies can get the marketing of their products by these influencers to their following, which tends to yield high results on most occasions. The reason for this might be that the followers tend to look up to these influencers and when they hear of a product from their role models, it makes them want to buy the product. it builds a kind of trust with the brand they are promoting as well, and this word-of-mouth phenomenon can greatly benefit the companies that know and understand social media and the relevance of influencers or content creators in today’s world. It can take some time for influencers to gain a following at the start, however, the use of Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok followers apps can help achieve this so they too are able to make their mark on social media.
“The Influencer Agreement offers a pathway for both current and future members to cover their influencer-generated branded content under a SAG-AFTRA contract,” the union’s president, Gabrielle Carteris, wrote in an email. “Our goal is to support these performers in a way that reflects the unique nature of their content.”
There is no minimum follower count for influencers who want to join the union, although eligibility for health and pension plans is based on certain work requirements. …